Massachusetts signs new law for distracted drivers

We are living in a world when cell phones are literally attached to our hands day and night.  We can’t leave the house with out them.  We can’t eat a meal without even looking at it.  Social media has taken over our lives in more ways than one.  And sadly this has lead to many car accidents that could have been completely avoidable.

This past week Governor Baker signed a law making Massachusetts the 5th state in New England to ban hand held cell phones while driving a car.

When does this go into affect?

Since the bill was signed this week, it takes 90 days for it go into effect.  Which means that as of February 23, 2020 you will no longer be able to swipe, text, or hold your cell phone in the car.  The state is giving a grace period that will allow you to go with a warning until the end of March 2020.

What will happen to me?

The state is really trying to crack down on the amount of accidents that are happening that could be completely prevented.   25% of accidents are because the driver was looking at their phone. As we had mentioned you will get a written warning if you are pulled over till the end of March 2020.  Your first offense will be a $100 ticket, second time will be $250, third time is $500.

Drivers who continue to get pulled over for using their cell phones while driving will be subject to auto insurance surcharges and or driving training.  “There’s a culture of cellphone use that needs to change and part of that requires enforcement which is why we needed this law,” Massachusetts Department of Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said. “It gives us the opportunity to reeducate those who may get multiple citations under this law by having them take a course.”

Wasn’t there already a ban on texting and driving?

Yes there was but it only was for texting and driving.  Since there is so much more that people are doing on their phones today, this new law will ban the use of your cell phone all together while you are driving.

What does it ban?

This new law will ban anything you use your phone for while driving your car.  So no more swiping, texting, hand held calling, and yes crazy as it sounds no more taking pictures of your self.  The world has really changed in the past couple of years.

Most cars have a blue tooth that is connected to your phones, so you never have to actually pick up your phone to answer a call.  Even newer cars have a feature that will read your text messages and allow your blue tooth to send them back just by speaking.

We understand that emergencies happen that might require you to have to sometimes to pick up the phone to make a phone call.  But think about this, people are always trying to find something to give up or change about themselves for the New Year.  Why not really make that effort to just put your phone down while you are driving in 2020. Place it in the back seat, the glove box, or under your seat.  It will save you a couple of hundred dollars in the long run!

 

 

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